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Tuesday, April 22


“A tree is known by its fruit.”
Mt 12:33 NKJV

The Root and the Fruit

In a letter to George Whitefield, a leader of the Great Awakening, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “I can only show my gratitude for those mercies from God, by a readiness to help his other children and my brethren. For I do not think that thanks and compliments, though repeated weekly, can discharge our real obligations to each other, and much less those to our Creator. You will see in this my notion of good works, that I am far from expecting to merit heaven by them. By heaven we understand a state of happiness, infinite in degree, and eternal in duration. I can do nothing to deserve such rewards…The faith you mention has certainly its use in the world. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavor to lessen it in any man. But I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it; I mean real good works; works of kindness, charity, mercy, and public spirit; not holiday-keeping, sermon-reading or hearing; performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers filled with flatteries and compliments…The worship of God is a duty; the hearing and reading of sermons may be useful; but if men rest in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself for being watered and putting forth leaves, though it never produce any fruit.” In aiming to declare that salvation is by grace and not works, never forget that saving faith always produces good works! Faith is the root of salvation. But deeds of generosity and kindness are the fruit of salvation—and “a tree is known by its fruit.”

Wednesday, April 23

“The message…did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith.”
Heb 4:2 AMP

Your Faith is a Catalyst

Acatalyst facilitates change; it makes things happen! For example, Alka-Seltzer without water has no effervescence, flour without yeast produces no bread, seeds without sunshine means no flowers, blue without yellow means no green, an egg without sperm means no baby, a spark without air produces no flame. Faith makes God’s Word work in your life. Without it nothing happens. Talking about the Israelites, Paul said, “When the good news of deliverance…came to them…the message…did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith.” One author says: “Without specific catalysts certain results can never be achieved. To make spiritual progress it’s not enough to read the Bible or listen to sermons. The activating ingredient to understanding is faith. After we hear God’s message we must act on it…Maybe you’re experiencing bitterness or anger because of a failed relationship and God told you to put those emotions behind you, but you lack the will to do it. Let me encourage you, trust God’s Word and act in faith. His promises will bloom in your life once you activate your faith.” Faith is not intellectual assent, or paying lip service to what you read in God’s Word. It’s acting on it, confident that God will do what He promised. There’s a difference between faith and trust. You may believe a chair will hold you, but only when you sit down and put your full weight on it are you trusting it. Getting the idea?